The last of Hurricane Issac’s rain is set to arrive in Hot Springs in a few hours. From our window I can see the Trees begin to perform their spiral swirl dance as the wind begins to pick up. Knowing the storm was set to arrive on Thursday I headed into the parched Forests of Hot Springs National Park yesterday. I was on the mountain by 8:15 and the cool 74 degrees felt like a luxury compared to the usual 89 the past two months. Not having my lenses fog up from the humidity was an added plus too.
It was perfect morning for a late summer hike, even with monumental construction taking place at the entrance to the park. The higher I climbed up Hot Springs Mountain the noise from below began to fade. I ran into an old friend as I was photographing a beautiful array of blue Asiatic Dayflowers. The colorful feral cat now has a collar and tags, one of which says “I am not lost”. I am tempted to call the number on another tag as this beautiful baby should not be hunting in the park. There are several creatures in the Forest that could easily hurt this lovely cat.
When I hiked up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trails the only Wildflowers I saw were wilting Goldenrod spears. Their bright yellow blossoms glowed softly on the trail edges. As I reached the Hot Springs Mountain Trail a lovely Hackberry Emperor Butterfly landed on a stump. It slowly pumped its wing warming in the first rays of the early sun. Further along the trail I spotted Dragonflies, they darted rapidly illuminated by light from the flickering leaves. I was surprised to see they were not monochrome. Their bodies were green with purplish blue tails and golden wings.
At the junction of the Honeysuckle and Floral Trails I made a wonderful discovery. A single pinkish purple Oxalis is being bent by a subtle breeze. A tiny exquisite gift in the parched Forest.
The now falling rain is a gift to the Forest in need of healing.
Much Love to ALL!